Hokkaido known as Ezo, Yeso, or Yesso, is the second largest island of Japan, the largest and northernmost prefecture. The Tsugaru Strait separates Hokkaido from Honshu; the two islands are connected by the undersea railway Seikan Tunnel. The largest city on Hokkaido is its capital, its only ordinance-designated city. About 43 km north of Hokkaido lies Russia. To its east and north-east are the disputed Kuril Islands; the Nihon Shoki, finished in 720 AD, is said to be the first mention of Hokkaido in recorded history. According to the text, Abe no Hirafu led a large navy and army to northern areas from 658 to 660 and came into contact with the Mishihase and Emishi. One of the places Hirafu went to was called Watarishima, believed to be present-day Hokkaido. However, many theories exist in relation to the details of this event, including the location of Watarishima and the common belief that the Emishi in Watarishima were the ancestors of the present-day Ainu people. During the Nara and Heian periods, people in Hokkaido conducted trade with Dewa Province, an outpost of the Japanese central government.
From the Middle Ages, the people in Hokkaido began to be called Ezo. Hokkaido subsequently became known as Ezogashima; the Ezo relied upon hunting and fishing and obtained rice and iron through trade with the Japanese. During the Muromachi period, the Japanese created a settlement at the south of the Oshima Peninsula; as more people moved to the settlement to avoid battles, disputes arose between the Japanese and the Ainu. The disputes developed into a war. Takeda Nobuhiro killed the Ainu leader and defeated the opposition in 1457. Nobuhiro's descendants became the rulers of the Matsumae-han, granted exclusive trading rights with the Ainu in the Azuchi-Momoyama and Edo periods; the Matsumae family's economy relied upon trade with the Ainu. They held authority over the south of Ezochi until the end of the Edo period in 1868; the Matsumae clan rule over the Ainu must be understood in the context of the expansion of the Japanese feudal state. Medieval military leaders in northern Honshū maintained only tenuous political and cultural ties to the imperial court and its proxies, the Kamakura Shogunate and Ashikaga Shogunate.
Feudal strongmen sometimes located themselves within medieval institutional order, taking shogunal titles, while in other times they assumed titles that seemed to give them a non-Japanese identity. In fact, many of the feudal strongmen were descended from Emishi military leaders, assimilated into Japanese society; the Matsumae clan were of Yamato descent like other ethnic Japanese people, whereas the Emishi of northern Honshu were a distinctive group related to the Ainu. The Emishi were conquered and integrated into the Japanese state dating back as far as the 8th century, as result began to lose their distinctive culture and ethnicity as they became minorities. By the time the Matsumae clan ruled over the Ainu most of the Emishi were ethnically mixed and physically closer to Japanese than they were to Ainu; this dovetails nicely with the "transformation" theory that native Jōmon peoples changed with the infusion of Yayoi immigrants into the Tōhoku rather than the "replacement" theory which posits that one population was replaced by another.
There were numerous revolts by the Ainu against the feudal rule. The last large-scale resistance was Shakushain's Revolt in 1669–1672. In 1789, a smaller movement, the Menashi–Kunashir rebellion, was crushed. After that rebellion, the terms "Japanese" and "Ainu" referred to distinguished groups, the Matsumae were unequivocally Japanese. In 1799–1821 and 1855–1858, the Edo Shogunate took direct control over Hokkaido in response to a perceived threat from Russia. Leading up to the Meiji Restoration, the Tokugawa Shogunate realized there was a need to prepare northern defenses against a possible Russian invasion and took over control of most of Ezochi; the Shogunate made the plight of the Ainu easier, but did not change the overall form of rule. Hokkaido was known as Ezochi until the Meiji Restoration. Shortly after the Boshin War in 1868, a group of Tokugawa loyalists led by Enomoto Takeaki temporarily occupied the island, but the rebellion was crushed in May 1869. Ezochi was subsequently put under control of Hakodate Prefectural Government.
When establishing the Development Commission, the Meiji Government introduced a new name. After 1869, the northern Japanese island was known as Hokkaido; the primary purpose of the development commission was to secure Hokkaido before the Russians extended their control of the Far East beyond Vladivostok. Kuroda Kiyotaka was put in charge of the venture, his first step was to journey to the United States and recruit Horace Capron, President Grant's Commissioner of Agriculture. From 1871 to 1873 Capron bent his efforts to expounding Western agriculture and mining with mixed results. Capron, frustrated with obstacles to his efforts returned home in 1875. In 1876, William S. Clark arrived to found an agricultural college in Sapporo. Although he only remained a year, Clark left a lasting impression on Hokkaido, inspiring the Japanese with his teachings on agriculture as well as Christianity
The Tōhoku region, Northeast region, or Northeast Japan consists of the northeastern portion of Honshu, the largest island of Japan. This traditional region consists of six prefectures: Akita, Fukushima, Iwate and Yamagata. Tōhoku retains a reputation as a scenic region with a harsh climate. In the 20th century, tourism became a major industry in the Tōhoku region. In mythological times, the area was known as Azuma and corresponded to the area of Honshu occupied by the native Ainu; the area was the Dewa and the Michinoku regions, a term first recorded in Hitachi-no-kuni Fudoki. There is some variation in modern usage of the term "Michinoku". Tōhoku's initial historical settlement occurred between the seventh and ninth centuries, well after Japanese civilization and culture had become established in central and southwestern Japan; the last stronghold of the indigenous Emishi on Honshu and the site of many battles, the region has maintained a degree of autonomy from Kyoto at various times throughout history.
The haiku poet Matsuo Bashō wrote Oku no Hosomichi during his travels through Tōhoku. The region is traditionally known as a less developed area of Japan; the catastrophic 9.0-Magnitude earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011, inflicted massive damage along the east coast of this region, killed 15,894 people and was the costliest natural disaster which left 500,000 people homeless along with radioactive fallout from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. Masamune, feudal lord of Date clan, expanded trade in the Tōhoku region. Although faced with attacks by hostile clans, he managed to overcome them after a few defeats and ruled one of the largest fiefdoms of the Tokugawa shogunate, he worked on many projects to beautify the region. He is known to have encouraged foreigners to come to his land. Though he funded and promoted an envoy to establish relations with the Pope in Rome, he was motivated at least in part by a desire for foreign technology, similar to that of other lords, such as Oda Nobunaga.
Further, once Tokugawa Ieyasu outlawed Christianity, Masamune reversed his position, though disliking it, let Ieyasu persecute Christians in his domain. For 270 years, Tōhoku remained a place of tourism and prosperity. Matsushima, for instance, a series of tiny islands, was praised for its beauty and serenity by the wandering haiku poet Matsuo Bashō, he showed sympathy for Christian traders in Japan. In addition to allowing them to come and preach in his province, he released the prisoner and missionary Padre Sotelo from the hands of Tokugawa Ieyasu. Date Masamune allowed Sotelo as well as other missionaries to practice their religion and win converts in Tōhoku; the most used subdivision of the region is dividing it to "North Tōhoku" consisting of Aomori and Iwate Prefectures and "South Tōhoku" consisting of Yamagata and Fukushima Prefectures. The population collapse of Tōhoku, which began before the year 2000, has accelerated, now including dynamic Miyagi. Despite this, Sendai City has grown due to the disaster.
The population collapse of Aomori and Akita Prefectures, Honshu's 3 northernmost, began in the early 1980s after an initial loss of population in the late 1950s. Fukushima Prefecture, prior to 1980, had traditionally been the most populated, but today Miyagi is the most populated and urban by far. Tōhoku, like most of Japan, is mountainous, with the Ōu Mountains running north-south; the inland location of many of the region's lowlands has led to a concentration of much of the population there. Coupled with coastlines that do not favor seaport development, this settlement pattern resulted in a much greater than usual dependence on land and rail transportation. Low points in the central mountain range make communications between lowlands on either side of the range moderately easy. Tōhoku was traditionally considered the granary of Japan because it supplied Sendai and the Tokyo-Yokohama market with rice and other farming commodities. Tōhoku provided 20 percent of the nation's rice crop; the climate, however, is harsher than in other parts of Honshū due to the stronger effect of the Siberian High, permits only one crop a year on paddy fields.
In the 1960s, steel, chemical and petroleum refining industries began developing. Designated citiesSendai Core citiesIwaki Koriyama Akita Morioka Aomori Hachinohe Other citiesAizuwakamatsu Daisen Date Fukushima Goshogawara Hachimantai Hanamaki Higashimatsushima Higashine Hirakawa Hirosaki Ichinoseki Ishinomaki Iwanuma Kakuda Kamaishi Kaminoyama Katagami Kazuno Kesennuma Kitaakita Kitakami Kitakata Kuji Kurihara Kuroishi Minamisōma Misawa Miyako Motomiya Murayama Mutsu Nagai Nan'yō Natori Nihonmatsu Nikaho Ninohe Noshiro Obanazawa Oga Ōdate Ōfunato Ōsaki Ōshū Rikuzentakata Sagae Sakata Semboku Shinjō Shiogama Shirakawa Shiroishi Sōma Sukagawa Tagajō Takizawa Tamura Tendō Tome Tomiya Tōno Towada Tsugaru Tsuruoka Yamagata Yokote Yonezawa Yurihonjō Yuzawa Mount Bandai Three Mountains of Dewa Hakkōda Mountains Mount Hayachine Mount Iwaki Lake Tazawa Lake Towada Kitakami River Oirase River Valley the islands of Matsushima Bay Mount Osore Sanriku Coastline Bandai-Asahi National Park Miss Veedol Beach Rikuchu Kaigan National Park Towada-Hachimantai National Park 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami 2006 Kuril Islands earthquake Geography of Japan Tōhoku dialect List of regions in Japan Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric and Käthe Roth..
Japan encyclopedia. Cambr
The Ryukyuan people. Politically, they live in either Okinawa Kagoshima Prefecture, their languages make up the Ryukyuan languages, considered to be one of the two branches of the Japonic language family, the other being Japanese and its dialects. Ryukyuans are not a recognized minority group in Japan, as Japanese authorities consider them just a subgroup of the Japanese people, akin to the Yamato people. Although unrecognized, Ryukyuans constitute the largest ethnolinguistic minority group in Japan, with 1.3 million living in Okinawa Prefecture alone. There is a considerable Ryukyuan diaspora; as many as 600,000 more ethnic Ryukyuans and their descendants are dispersed elsewhere in Japan and worldwide. In the majority of countries, the Ryukyuan and Japanese diaspora are not differentiated so there are no reliable statistics for the former. Recent genetic and anthropological studies indicate that the Ryukyuans are related to the Ainu people and share the ancestry with the indigenous prehistoric Jōmon period people and with the Yamato people who are an admixture of the Yayoi period migrants from East Asia.
The Ryukyuans have a specific culture with some matriarchal elements, native religion, cuisine which had late 12th century introduction of rice. The population lived on the islands in isolation for many centuries, in the 14th century from the three divided Okinawan political polities emerged the Ryukyu Kingdom which continued the maritime trade and tributary relations started in 1372 with Ming dynasty China. In 1609 the kingdom was invaded by Satsuma Domain which allowed its independence being in vassal status because the Tokugawa Japan was prohibited to trade with China, being in dual subordinate status between both China and Japan. During the Meiji period, the kingdom became Ryukyu Domain, after which it was politically annexed by the Empire of Japan. In 1879, after the annexation, the territory was reorganized as Okinawa Prefecture with the last king Shō Tai forcibly exiled to Tokyo. China renounced its claims to the islands in 1895. During this period, Okinawan ethnic identity, tradition and language were suppressed by the Meiji government, which sought to assimilate the Ryukyuan people as Japanese.
After World War II, the Ryūkyū Islands were occupied by the United States between 1945–1950 and 1950–1972. During this time, there were many violations of human rights. Since the end of World War II, there exists strong resentment against the Japanese government and US military facilities stationed in Okinawa, as seen in the Ryukyu independence movement. United Nations special rapporteur on discrimination and racism Doudou Diène in his 2006 report, noted perceptible level of discrimination and xenophobia against the Ryukyuans, with the most serious discrimination they endure linked to their dislike of American military installations in the archipelago. An investigation into fundamental human rights was suggested, their usual ethnic name derives from the Chinese name for the islands, "Liuqiu", which in the Japanese language is pronounced "Ryukyu". The indigenous term for the island of Okinawa is Uchinaa, the people Uchinaanchu, their language Uchinaaguchi; these terms are used, are politicized markers of a distinct culture.
According to the recent genetic studies, the Ryukyuan people share more alleles with the Jōmon period hunter-gatherers and Ainu people than the Yamato Japanese, have smaller genetic contributions from Asian continental populations, which supports the dual-structure model of K. Hanihara, a accepted theory which suggests that the Yamato Japanese are more admixed with Asian agricultural continental people than the Ainu and the Ryukyuans, with major admixture occurring in and after the Yayoi period. Within the Japanese population the Ryukyu make a separate and one of the two genome-wide clusters along the main-island Honshu; the Jomon ancestry is estimated at 28% or 50-60%, depending to various studies. The admixture event which formed the admixed Ryukyuans was estimated at least 1100–1075 years ago, which corresponds to the Gusuku period, is considered to be related to the arrival of migrants from Japan. Thus, the Ryukyuans appear to be genetically closest to the Ainu from the Ainu viewpoint, whereas it is the opposite from the Ryukyuans' viewpoint who are closest to the Yamato Japanese.
The comparative studies on the dental diversity showed long-term gene flow from outside source, long-term isolation, genetic drift which produced the morphological diversification of the modern Ryukyuans. However, the analysis contradicts the idea of direct genetic continuity and affinity between the Jomon and the Ryukyuans, although several genetic, dental analyses, viral infection studies indicated their close relationship, while according to anthropological data are between the Yamato Japanese and Ainu people. According to archaeological evidence, there's prehistoric cultural differentiation between the Northern Ryukyu Islands and the Southern Ryukyu Islands; the genome-wide differentiation was pronounced between Okinawa and Miya
The Jōmon period is the time in Japanese prehistory, traditionally dated between c. 14,000–300 BCE refined to about 1000 BCE, during which Japan was inhabited by a hunter-gatherer culture, which reached a considerable degree of sedentism and cultural complexity. The name "cord-marked" was first applied by the American scholar Edward S. Morse, who discovered sherds of pottery in 1877 and subsequently translated it into Japanese as jōmon; the pottery style characteristic of the first phases of Jōmon culture was decorated by impressing cords into the surface of wet clay and is accepted to be among the oldest in East Asia and the world. The Jōmon period was rich in tools and jewellery made from bone, stone and antler, it is compared to pre-Columbian cultures of the North American Pacific Northwest and to the Valdivia culture in Ecuador because in these settings cultural complexity developed within a hunting-gathering context with limited use of horticulture. The long 14,000 years, Jōmon period is conventionally divided into a number of phases: Incipient, Early, Middle and Final, with the phases getting progressively shorter.
The fact that this entire period is given the same name by archaeologists should not be taken to mean that there was not considerable regional and temporal diversity. Dating of the Jōmon sub-phases is based upon ceramic typology, to a lesser extent radiocarbon dating. Traces of Paleolithic culture stone tools, occur in Japan from around 30,000 BCE onwards; the earliest "Incipient Jōmon" phase began while Japan was still linked to continental Asia as a narrow peninsula. As the glaciers melted following the end of the last glacial period, sea levels rose, separating the Japanese archipelago from the Asian mainland. In addition, a continuous chain of islands encompasses Luzon, Taiwan and Kyushu, allowing for continuous contact between the Jōmon and maritime Southeast Asia. Within the archipelago, the vegetation was transformed by the end of the Ice Age. In southwestern Honshu and Kyushu, broadleaf evergreen trees dominated the forests, whereas broadleaf deciduous trees and conifers were common in northeastern Honshu and southern Hokkaido.
Many native tree species, such as beeches, buckeyes and oaks produced edible nuts and acorns. These provided abundant sources of food for animals. In the northeast, the plentiful marine life carried south by the Oyashio Current salmon, was another major food source. Settlements along both the Sea of Japan and the Pacific Ocean subsisted on immense amounts of shellfish, leaving distinctive middens that are now prized sources of information for archaeologists. Other food sources meriting special mention include Sika deer, wild boar, wild plants such as yam-like tubers, freshwater fish. Supported by the productive deciduous forests and an abundance of seafood, the population was concentrated in central and northern Honshu, but Jōmon sites range from Hokkaido to the Ryukyu Islands; the earliest pottery in Japan was made before the start of the Incipient Jōmon period. Small fragments, dated to 14,500 BCE, were found at the Odai Yamamoto I site in 1998. Pottery of the same age was subsequently found at other sites such as Kamikuroiwa and Fukui Cave.
Archaeologist Junko Habu claims "he majority of Japanese scholars believed, still believe, that pottery production was first invented in mainland Asia and subsequently introduced into the Japanese archipelago." This seems to be confirmed by recent archaeology. As of now, the earliest pottery vessels in the world date back to 20,000 BP and were discovered in Xianren Cave in Jiangxi, China; the pottery may have been used as cookware. Other early pottery vessels include those excavated from the Yuchanyan Cave in southern China, dated from 16,000 BCE, at present it appears that pottery emerged at the same time in Japan, in the Amur River basin of the Russian Far East; the first Jōmon pottery is characterized by the cord-marking that gives the period its name and has now been found in large numbers of sites. The pottery of the period has been classified by archaeologists into some 70 styles, with many more local varieties of the styles; the antiquity of Jōmon pottery was first identified after World War II, through radiocarbon dating methods.
The earliest vessels were smallish round-bottomed bowls 10–50 cm high that are assumed to have been used for boiling food and storing it beforehand. They belonged to hunter-gatherers and the size of the vessels may have been limited by a need for portability; as bowls increase in size, this is taken to be a sign of an settled pattern of living. These types continued to develop, with elaborate patterns of decoration, undulating rims, flat bottoms so that they could stand on a surface; the manufacture of pottery implies some form of sedentary life because pottery is heavy and fragile and thus unusable for hunter-gatherers. However, this doe
An autosome is a chromosome, not an allosome. The members of an autosome pair in a diploid cell have the same morphology, unlike those in allosome pairs which may have different structures; the DNA in autosomes is collectively known as atDNA or auDNA. For example, humans have a diploid genome that contains 22 pairs of autosomes and one allosome pair; the autosome pairs are labeled with numbers in order of their sizes in base pairs, while allosomes are labelled with their letters. By contrast, the allosome pair consists of two X chromosomes in females or one X and one Y chromosome in males. Unusual combinations of XYY, XXY, XXX, XXXX, XXXXX or XXYY, among other allosome combinations, are known to occur and cause developmental abnormalities. Autosomes still contain sexual determination genes though they are not sex chromosomes. For example, the SRY gene on the Y chromosome encodes the transcription factor TDF and is vital for male sex determination during development. TDF functions by activating the SOX9 gene on chromosome 17, so mutations of the SOX9 gene can cause humans with an ordinary Y chromosome to develop as females.
All human autosomes have been identified and mapped by extracting the chromosomes from a cell arrested in metaphase or prometaphase and staining them with a type of dye. These chromosomes are viewed as karyograms for easy comparison. Clinical geneticists can compare the karyogram of an individual to a reference karyogram to discover the cytogenetic basis of certain phenotypes. For example, the karyogram of someone with Patau Syndrome would show that they possess three copies of chromosome 13. Karyograms and staining techniques can only detect large-scale disruptions to chromosomes—chromosomal aberrations smaller than a few million base pairs cannot be seen on a karyogram. Autosomal genetic disorders can arise due to a number of causes, some of the most common being nondisjunction in parental germ cells or Mendelian inheritance of deleterious alleles from parents. Autosomal genetic disorders which exhibit Mendelian inheritance can be inherited either in an autosomal dominant or recessive fashion.
These disorders are passed on by either sex with equal frequency. Autosomal dominant disorders are present in both parent and child, as the child needs to inherit only one copy of the deleterious allele to manifest the disease. Autosomal recessive diseases, require two copies of the deleterious allele for the disease to manifest; because it is possible to possess one copy of a deleterious allele without presenting a disease phenotype, two phenotypically normal parents can have a child with the disease if both parents are carriers for the condition. Autosomal aneuploidy can result in disease conditions. Aneuploidy of autosomes is not well tolerated and results in miscarriage of the developing fetus. Fetuses with aneuploidy of gene-rich chromosomes—such as chromosome 1—never survive to term, fetuses with aneuploidy of gene-poor chromosomes—such as chromosome 21— are still miscarried over 23% of the time. Possessing a single copy of an autosome is nearly always incompatible with life, though rarely some monosomies can survive past birth.
Having three copies of an autosome is far more compatible with life, however. A common example is Down syndrome, caused by possessing three copies of chromosome 21 instead of the usual two. Partial aneuploidy can occur as a result of unbalanced translocations during meiosis. Deletions of part of a chromosome cause partial monosomies, while duplications can cause partial trisomies. If the duplication or deletion is large enough, it can be discovered by analyzing a karyogram of the individual. Autosomal translocations can be responsible for a number of diseases, ranging from cancer to schizophrenia. Unlike single gene disorders, diseases caused by aneuploidy are the result of improper gene dosage, not nonfunctional gene product. Aneuploidy Autosomal dominant Autosomal recessive Homologous chromosome Pseudoautosomal region XY sex-determination system Genetic disorder
The Neolithic, the final division of the Stone Age, began about 12,000 years ago when the first development of farming appeared in the Epipalaeolithic Near East, in other parts of the world. The division lasted until the transitional period of the Chalcolithic from about 6,500 years ago, marked by the development of metallurgy, leading up to the Bronze Age and Iron Age. In Northern Europe, the Neolithic lasted until about 1700 BC, while in China it extended until 1200 BC. Other parts of the world remained broadly in the Neolithic stage of development, although this term may not be used, until European contact; the Neolithic comprises a progression of behavioral and cultural characteristics and changes, including the use of wild and domestic crops and of domesticated animals. The term Neolithic derives from the Greek νέος néos, "new" and λίθος líthos, "stone" meaning "New Stone Age"; the term was coined by Sir John Lubbock in 1865 as a refinement of the three-age system. Following the ASPRO chronology, the Neolithic started in around 10,200 BC in the Levant, arising from the Natufian culture, when pioneering use of wild cereals evolved into early farming.
The Natufian period or "proto-Neolithic" lasted from 12,500 to 9,500 BC, is taken to overlap with the Pre-Pottery Neolithic of 10,200–8800 BC. As the Natufians had become dependent on wild cereals in their diet, a sedentary way of life had begun among them, the climatic changes associated with the Younger Dryas are thought to have forced people to develop farming. By 10,200–8800 BC farming communities had arisen in the Levant and spread to Asia Minor, North Africa and North Mesopotamia. Mesopotamia is the site of the earliest developments of the Neolithic Revolution from around 10,000 BC. Early Neolithic farming was limited to a narrow range of plants, both wild and domesticated, which included einkorn wheat and spelt, the keeping of dogs and goats. By about 6900–6400 BC, it included domesticated cattle and pigs, the establishment of permanently or seasonally inhabited settlements, the use of pottery. Not all of these cultural elements characteristic of the Neolithic appeared everywhere in the same order: the earliest farming societies in the Near East did not use pottery.
In other parts of the world, such as Africa, South Asia and Southeast Asia, independent domestication events led to their own regionally distinctive Neolithic cultures, which arose independently of those in Europe and Southwest Asia. Early Japanese societies and other East Asian cultures used pottery before developing agriculture. In the Middle East, cultures identified as Neolithic began appearing in the 10th millennium BC. Early development occurred from there spread eastwards and westwards. Neolithic cultures are attested in southeastern Anatolia and northern Mesopotamia by around 8000 BC; the prehistoric Beifudi site near Yixian in Hebei Province, contains relics of a culture contemporaneous with the Cishan and Xinglongwa cultures of about 6000–5000 BC, neolithic cultures east of the Taihang Mountains, filling in an archaeological gap between the two Northern Chinese cultures. The total excavated area is more than 1,200 square yards, the collection of neolithic findings at the site encompasses two phases.
The Neolithic 1 period began around 10,000 BC in the Levant. A temple area in southeastern Turkey at Göbekli Tepe, dated to around 9500 BC, may be regarded as the beginning of the period; this site was developed by nomadic hunter-gatherer tribes, as evidenced by the lack of permanent housing in the vicinity, may be the oldest known human-made place of worship. At least seven stone circles, covering 25 acres, contain limestone pillars carved with animals and birds. Stone tools were used by as many as hundreds of people to create the pillars, which might have supported roofs. Other early PPNA sites dating to around 9500–9000 BC have been found in Jericho, West Bank, Gilgal in the Jordan Valley, Byblos, Lebanon; the start of Neolithic 1 overlaps the Heavy Neolithic periods to some degree. The major advance of Neolithic 1 was true farming. In the proto-Neolithic Natufian cultures, wild cereals were harvested, early seed selection and re-seeding occurred; the grain was ground into flour. Emmer wheat was domesticated, animals were herded and domesticated.
In 2006, remains of figs were discovered in a house in Jericho dated to 9400 BC. The figs are of a mutant variety that cannot be pollinated by insects, therefore the trees can only reproduce from cuttings; this evidence suggests that figs were the first cultivated crop and mark the invention of the technology of farming. This occurred centuries before the first cultivation of grains. Settlements became more permanent, with circular houses, much like those of the Natufians, with single rooms. However, these houses were for the first time made of mudbrick; the settlement had a surrounding stone wall and a stone tower. The wall served as protection from nearby groups, as protection from floods, or to keep animals penned; some of the enclosures suggest grain and meat storage. The Neolithic 2 began around 8800 BC according to the ASPRO chronology in the Levant; as with the PPNA dates, there are two versions from the same laboratories noted above. This system of terminology, however, is not convenient for southeast Anatolia and settlements of the middle Anatolia basin.
A settlement of 3,000 inhabitants was found in th
A midden is an old dump for domestic waste which may consist of animal bone, human excrement, botanical material, mollusc shells, sherds and other artifacts and ecofacts associated with past human occupation. These features, provide a useful resource for archaeologists who wish to study the diet and habits of past societies. Middens with damp, anaerobic conditions can preserve organic remains in deposits as the debris of daily life are tossed on the pile; each individual toss will contribute a different mix of materials depending upon the activity associated with that particular toss. During the course of deposition sedimentary material is deposited as well. Different mechanisms, from wind and water to animal digs, create a matrix which can be analyzed to provide seasonal and climatic information. In some middens individual dumps of material can be analysed. A shell midden or shell mound is an archaeological feature consisting of mollusk shells; the Danish term køkkenmøddinger was first used by Japetus Steenstrup to describe shell heaps and continues to be used by some researchers.
A midden, by definition, contains the debris of human activity, should not be confused with wind or tide created beach mounds. Some shell middens are processing remains: areas where aquatic resources were processed directly after harvest and prior to use or storage in a distant location; some shell middens are directly associated as a designated village dump site. In other middens, the material is directly associated with a house in the village; each household would dump its garbage directly outside the house. In all cases, shell middens are complex and difficult to excavate and exactly; the fact that they contain a detailed record of what food was eaten or processed and many fragments of stone tools and household goods makes them invaluable objects of archaeological study. Shells have a high calcium carbonate content; this slows the normal rate of decay caused by soil acidity, leaving a high proportion of organic material available for archaeologists to find. Edward Sylvester Morse conducted one of the first archaeological excavations of shellmounds in Omori, Japan in 1877, which led to the discovery of a style of pottery described as "cord-marked", translated as "Jōmon", which came to be used to refer to the early period of Japanese history when this style of pottery was produced.
Shell middens were studied in Denmark in the latter half of the 19th century. The Danish word køkkenmødding is now used internationally; the English word "midden" derives from the same Old Norse word. Shell middens are found in lakeshore zones all over the world. Consisting of mollusc shells, they are interpreted as being the waste products of meals eaten by nomadic groups or hunting parties; some are small examples relating to meals had by a handful of individuals, others are many metres in length and width and represent centuries of shell deposition. In Brazil, they are known as sambaquis, having been created over a long period between the 6th millennium BC and the beginning of European colonisation. European shell middens are found along the Atlantic seaboard and in Denmark and date to the 5th millennium BC, containing the remains of the earliest Neolithisation process. Younger shell middens are found in Latvia, the Netherlands and Schleswig Holstein. All these are examples where communities practiced hunting/gathering economy.
On Canada's west coast, there are shell middens that run for more than a kilometer along the coast and are several meters deep. The midden in Namu, British Columbia is over 9 meters deep and spans over 10,000 years of continuous occupation. Shell middens created in coastal regions of Australia by indigenous Australians exist in Australia today. Middens provide evidence of prior occupation and are protected from mining and other developments. One must exercise caution in deciding whether one is examining a beach mound. There are good examples on the Freycinet Peninsula in Tasmania where wave action is combining charcoal from forest fire debris with a mix of shells into masses that storms deposit above high-water mark. Shell mounds near Weipa in far north Queensland that are less than 2 meters high and a few tens of meters long are claimed to be middens, but are in fact shell cheniers re-worked by nest mound-building birds. Shell mounds are credited with the creation of tropical hardwood hammocks, one example being the Otter mound preserve in Florida, where shell deposits from Calusa natives provided flood free high areas in otherwise large watered areas.
There are instances in which shell middens may have doubled as areas of ceremonial construction or ritual significance. The Woodland period Crystal River site provides an example of this phenomenon; some shell mounds, known as shell rings, are open arcs with a clear central area. Many are known from Japan and the southeastern United States, at least one from South America; the word is of Scandinavian via Middle English derivation.